Make every click count!

Straight North is an Internet marketing agency specializing in SEO, PPC and responsive websites. We help firms increase sales leads and e-commerce revenue.

Our core service is SEO. We have helped hundreds of firms improve organic search visibility since 1997. We are the only SEO company that validates and reports all sales leads from phone and forms.

Call us today: 855-264-8969

 
$1,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
1997
Show all +
Chicago, IL
Headquarters
  • Straight North
    211 W Upper Wacker Dr, Suite 1800
    Chicago, IL 60606
    United States
    855-264-8969

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Chicago Bears, Hub Group, Harvard, DeVry, AutoDesk, Lava Lamp, Amdocs, Daily Herald, IDEX, Association of Legal Administrators, Pro Stock Hockey

Earthwise

The Amish Cabinet Company

Mendel Plumbing

Grove Dental

Duck Bay Lodge

Acieta

Reviews

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Digital Marketing for Sports Apparel Retailer

"Without Straight North, we would have been significantly behind compared to where we are now."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2007 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North has helped a client increase sales through its eCommerce business through more focus on website design, SEO, PPC, and social media marketing.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 employees
 
Baltimore, Maryland Area
Vice President, Sports Apparel Retailer
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North has helped the client turn a small web business into over a million dollars in revenue. Their attentiveness and response time stands out.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the vice president of a company that manufactures athleticwear and apparel. Our products are sold locally in the state of Maryland as well as nationwide and internationally. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

The landscape seems to be changing a little in that many people are going online first for shopping, even in terms of uniforms. We've noticed this trend so we're putting less of a focus on local internal reps and channeling those resources into the site. Specifically, we wanted a new design and an increased SEO effort.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our 2017 scope includes a buildout of a brand-new website. We're also working with Straight North's web marketing department on SEO, pay-per-click, and social media campaigns.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We started working with Straight North around a decade ago when they had a different name. We had an existing comfort level—Straight North had performed well for us and we communicated well with the team. After seeing Straight North's proposal, it was an easy choice to keep with what we knew.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

In 2017, we plan to have a $70,000 spend on marketing, along with the cost of the website which was around $30,000. The total budget is $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Straight North's team 10 years ago while they were part of another company. There was a lot of continuity in terms of their resources and location, which was comforting, but we've also met new people for the web development work. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Our site has gone live only a few weeks ago, so its success rate remains to be seen. I've been very satisfied with Straight North within prior experiences. They've been phenomenal to work with. When we first started working with their team, we weren't in the web game at all. They brought us into the scene and it has developed into a million-dollar business for us. Without Straight North, we would have been significantly behind compared to where we are now.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

I've worked with many different companies; Straight North stands out through the level of attention given. Our phone calls are returned quickly and Straight North's team went out of their way to accommodate any special requests we had.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

They're there to work for us, not just complete what they signed up for.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

I am satisfied at the moment, but that could change in 2 to 3 months if our leads haven't increased. I wasn't disappointed with Straight North in any regard.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

Trust the experts and let them do what they're good at. Clients shouldn't insert themselves too much into areas they don't understand.

5.0
Overall Score I've had a lot of experience in development. I can't think of anything I was dissatisfied with on Straight North's end.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There was one speed bump during the process. Straight North made up the time and were upfront about it.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We stuck to our budget exactly.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Design for Legal Group

"Our day-to-day team was awesome, and I enjoyed working with them."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
1999 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North was responsible for planning and launching a new publication design scheme to improve engagement and overall readership.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 employees
 
Chicago, Illinois Area
Managing Editor, Legal Association
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North delivered a beautiful website and met the client's design goals. Their project management could improve but they are a fun group to partner with.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

The Association for Legal Administrators has a staff of 30–35 members and serves as a professional organization for people running law firms. Our members include CFOs, executive directors, and basic administrative staff.

I am the managing editor of the organization. I run our publication.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We needed help with the design of our publication. I have been working with the organization for 2 years. Before I was hired, there was a board decision to get rid of the print publication and continue it in app form.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North works on our publication providing design work. We have recently made a redesign which launched in January 2017. Straight North originally developed the iOS and Android apps, as well as the website for our publication. Through no fault of their own, the result was not well-received by members, leading to low readership numbers. We came up with a plan and had Straight North phase out our apps while making the website more robust and responsive. We put together a plan for making the content ungated, instead of having a membership lockdown. Straight North was instrumental in having us get it off the ground.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We have a longstanding relationship with Straight North, going back 20 years. When we remade our website, we didn't look anywhere else.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The cost of the web redesign was $31,800.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Straight North back in the 90s. The relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Our readership had been abysmal before the redesign, and our ad sales plummeted. This is more of a reflection on our internal processes. Straight North developed a beautiful app initially, but it was never properly introduced to our readership. We took away a print publication which readers didn't want to get rid of, and threw an electronic version at them. Our members are not a very change-happy group, so the app didn't work as well as we would have wanted.

We're hoping to push our content out there more, employing a social media strategy. Having more hits on our content will hopefully bring back advertisers. The new site has only been out for 3 weeks, so it's too early to tell.

Our readers had been requesting a functionality for viewing the entire publication in PDF form. As a result, Straight North has designed 2 versions of the publication, a web version and a fully-designed PDF which members can print. I anticipate that this will make our readers very happy.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Our day-to-day team was awesome, and I enjoyed working with them. Project management was a bit challenging, given that our contact from Straight North didn't communicate deadlines very well. We had very little time to give feedback, so being a day late meant that the project wouldn't be done in time. It wasn't a major issue, but Straight North's project management could have been stronger.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

Better communication and having an upfront schedule would be an improvement. Having one day for client feedback is not feasible.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

Clients should go in with a clear plan and outline their requirements. We had a wish list which ballooned the budget, so researching the project and having clear requirements is important.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Design and SEO for Electrical Contractor

"Even when things are down to the wire and the timeframe isn't as it should be in order for them to do certain things, they make things happen."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Dec. 2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North produced a new website design for the client's main corporate website and also have marketed it to make sure the right types of potential customers find it online.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 employees
 
Chicago, Illinois Area
Project Engineer, Electrical Contractor
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North has a flexible team that hits deadlines even with challenging circumstances and many client change requests. They have improved overall web traffic to the new site.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work for an electrical contractor that designs, builds, and installs lighting and power systems in a variety of industries. I have an electrical engineering degree and I do special projects and a little bit of business development for the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

The goal was to create a new design for our corporate website.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North did the web design and launch for our corporate site. We’re now in the process of doing SEO. I provided them a list of professional organizations within our industry for them to reach out to in order to create links back to our site. They’re also trying to figure out where we need to make modifications on the website in order to draw more traffic to it.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We’ve used Straight North for the majority of our marketing tools, brochures, pamphlets, presentation books, etc. Using them for our website design was a natural progression. They did our first website so they’re familiar with the operation, the server, and everything else.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

I don't know that information off the top of my head. I’d have to get the numbers for you.

What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve been working with them for a little over 3 years. The work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

I’m satisfied with Straight North’s work so far and I feel like it has been successful. It’s so new that we haven't been able to measure a lot of direct metrics yet. We only started tracking in November. We have seen a lot of new traffic to the site, but we can't really compare the new website’s traffic to the previous website because we never did any tracking on it. We’re also receiving some new leads, which is a positive.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

I think their team is great. They’re attentive and their turnaround time is excellent.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

Even when things are down to the wire and the timeframe isn't as it should be in order for them to do certain things, they make things happen. That’s a great plus for Straight North and it’s why we love to work with them. Even in the toughest of situations, they make things happen.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

They could improve by double and triple checking their work before submitting it to us. They miss a lot of the more technical writing stuff, such as misspellings and punctuation. When the work comes back, I have to go through everything with a fine-tooth comb to catch the errors they should have seen.  

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

I would recommend other businesses do a thorough review of the work when it comes back to them.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I give them a 4 because I find a lot of errors when proofreading their work.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Design and Collateral Development for Insurance Company

"Everything is always on time, and their follow-up is first rate."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North provides web design and marketing collateral development to improve the brand image and professional face of the client.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 employees
 
Chicago, Illinois Area
Owner, Insurance Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The creative aspect of the web and marketing collateral design is top notch. They offer customized strategies and sound project management.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We have two insurance agencies, and I'm the president.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We hired Straight North to help us with web design and supporting collateral materials.

SOLUTION

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I don't remember. It’s been several years, and I don't recall how we first came into contact with them.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

We’ve probably spent about $30,000 annually over the last few years.

What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve been working with Straight North for at least four years.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

I would say Straight North’s project management is excellent. Everything is always on time, and their follow-up is first rate. They’re always on top of everything, and their estimates, at least for us, have been right on.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

I’m satisfied with Straight North, and I think they’ve been successful. We’re particularly pleased with the design, especially the creative aspect of the design. They’ve been able to capture the essence of our companies in how the materials look, which is not easy.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

Maybe they could spend a little more time understanding the nuances of our particular business. That’s just something that takes a while for each client because every client is different. I expected that would take a while. 

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

I would recommend that other companies spend a lot of time orientating Straight North to their particular business. Their work is really customized, and they need to spend a lot of time upfront understanding the way a particular company operates.

5.0
Overall Score If we’re averaging the fives, I'd have to give them a five.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    If there were ever delays, it was our fault in not getting them the information they needed on time, not theirs.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We never went over budget, so I guess we have to give them the highest rating.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We wanted everything to look as professional as we think we are, and it does. It looks great.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Digital Marketing Projects for CPA Firm

"Our website is amazing and our printed materials were always on par with our high-quality standards."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Sep. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North built a new website and provide SEO work to update the firm's outside image and improve recruiting outcomes for new CPAs graduating from college.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 employees
 
Greater Chicago Area
Marketing Director, CPA Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North created an attractive website and met their goal of recruiting more qualified CPAs from colleges. Straight North provides a dedicated project manager to keep progress moving forward.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a CPA firm based in Lincolnshire, Illinois, with 120 partners and 60 employees. We have around 12 million dollars in annual revenue. We're a full-service firm providing audits—tax and insurance—as well as advisory services.

I am the marketer of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

When I took over the marketing division, the initial goal was to rebuild our site. We wanted to launch an SEO strategy, but the old page was non-responsive and out of date. Another reason for developing a new website was to gain an advantage over other accounting firms when it comes to recruiting. Many of our competitors run multiple microsites detailing how it is to work for those companies. We got left behind in terms of the website; it wasn't very appealing and didn't represent us as a firm. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North completely rebuilt our site. We took a lot of time with this because we wanted the result to be perfect and it had many custom functionalities. After the site was launched, we started working with Straight North on SEO and other smaller projects, like the design for brochures and general marketing materials. We have a social media presence, but not paid; we also don't use pay-per-click marketing. A part of our SEO work involved Straight North writing guest posts on other companies' blogs.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We're a 20-year-old company and we've worked with Straight North for most of those 20 years. There wasn't really a question in our minds about using them on the current project. We wanted to work with someone who knew our company and our business.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The cost of Straight North's services has been around $50,000 in 2016. We have a $2,500 per month fee for SEO, but we also work on additional build-outs for the site.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our current project started in September 2015. Since then, we've gone through a complete rebranding. Our work with Straight North is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

I don't think I could've done my job without Straight North. Our website is amazing and our printed materials were always on par with our high-quality standards. We launched our site at the beginning of November 2016, so we haven't even received the first SEO report for it yet. As we approach the end of 2016, we will start seeing more and more traffic, as this is the time when most people switch CPA firms. In addition to gaining new business, rebuilding the site has helped our recruiting efforts a lot. We recruit heavily on college campuses. Several students have mentioned seeing certain bits of information on our site.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

As a marketer, I have many responsibilities. Things can sometimes slip through the cracks. I haven't worked with other companies, but the biggest thing I've appreciated about Straight North is that they have a designated project manager whose entire job is making sure that the team is getting everything it needs. She has helped me make sure that I knew what I had to deliver and when. When I needed it, Straight North made accommodations for my own timeline as well. There was constant follow-up, project tracking, and updating.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

Not having worked with other marketing or development firms, I couldn't say. I've appreciated everything that Straight North has done.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

I advise clients to be prepared for the project. I felt the most ups and downs during moments when I didn't realize how much of a time commitment would be necessary from my end. I thought that Straight North would simply take what we had and build a new website, but the project turned into a complete rebranding. We had a 2-month delay just because we had to make all-new corporate photography. If we had known this would be necessary, we could have taken care of it before the project even started.

5.0
Overall Score Straight North is a 5-star company overall.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Even with our delays, Straight North was able to turn things around immediately.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    There were a few surprises in terms of builds, with some parts of the project not being included in the original scope. For what we paid, we received a very good product.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Everything I've ever gotten from Straight North feels high quality.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I've recommended Straight North to everyone I know who is thinking of redoing a website.

Web Design for Nonprofit Fundraiser

"Straight North got things right the first time, which was really nice."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Feb. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Previously, Straight North provided SEO for another of the client's websites; this time, they designed a new responsive website with a custom form and will continue to do SEO for it.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 employees
 
Washington, DC
Sales & Marketing Director, Nonprofit Fundraiser
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North successfully designed the website better than expected and without much additional guidance or editing, which impressed the client. Straight North was particularly praised for being extremely detailed and communicative.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Our company is a small non-profit fundraiser based in Washington DC. I am the marketing director of the company. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We were starting a new project and needed to create a website for it. We knew what we wanted in terms of content, but we are not designers. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North has developed our website. It's a pretty basic page in terms of structure, but there were some custom features we wanted for it. We utilize lead generation as a business, which is done through phone calls and online forms. We had a rather complicated custom form in mind that we'd wanted to implement for a couple of years. We described what we were looking for and asked Straight North to work out something. They blew it out of the water on the first try, doing a great job on a couple of different custom elements on the site as well.

We had a few concerns with the site's responsive design in general. Tablets and phones are always receiving updates, while screens are also constantly changing sizes. We told Straight North about this and tested the site on literally every device imaginable. Even the most complicated elements have performed beautifully.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

Straight North had worked on SEO for one of our websites for the past 2 years. Because we had such a good relationship, we inquired about their web design services as well. Straight North gave us some past projects to look at and we decided to move forward.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The initial budget was $10,000, but we went over that because of additional features that we requested along the way. Straight North offered us a special deal based on our existing SEO work.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Straight North in February 2016. We've contracted Straight North for SEO work on the site after it’s completed. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

I don't have any significant metrics for the site, other than the fact that Straight North was able to complete it on time and on budget. The site looks good, much better than we anticipated. I gave them some direction on what I wanted to see within each page, but Straight North actually wrote all of it. There were hardly any edits needed. I found that impressive, considering that the topic of the website can get detailed and research-intensive.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

I cannot give enough praise to our project manager. There was some misunderstanding in the beginning, but she went above and beyond, going through everything with a fine-tooth comb. We became clear on all aspects of the project and maintained almost daily communication. I wish that she was a part of our SEO team, given how great she was to work with.

One of the things I liked about Straight North, particularly in the case of our project manager, was that they were extremely detailed. I always received recaps of our conversations with bullet points detailing what needed to be done and what had been completed. I remained in constant contact with our manager and everything was scheduled well. I immediately knew when a project would be started, how long it would take, and what, if anything, could postpone certain elements. Knowing the timeline from start to finish was awesome. I feel that some website jobs can take forever, but with Straight North, there was a very strict schedule. Straight North communicated daily, telling us what was going on, what we needed to do, and so on.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

I could simply give concepts to Straight North's team, and they would bring to life what I wanted to see. I didn’t have to go into the minutiae of the requirements. Normally, on our other internal projects, I am involved in the nitty-gritty of writing content. It can be exhausting to describe exactly what elements I want to see on what pages. Straight North got things right the first time, which was really nice.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

We've had some SEO-related issues with the website, but this is mainly due to the competition in our industry.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

It's fantastic that Straight North is extremely responsive in communicating what we need to do on weekly. However, there are quite a few things for which clients need to review and provide advice. If clients keep requesting multiple revisions on certain pieces, their timeline will be shifted back. I made that mistake at the very beginning, but after we had a conversation about this with Straight North, everything else went swimmingly. My advice is that clients determine exactly what they want and express that at the very beginning of the project. I deal with many vendors day in and day out. I've found that I must be very detailed when giving them instructions, otherwise, I won't get what I'm looking for.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

SEO for Venture Capital Advisory

"Our project came in on budget and on time, which are two important statistics."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
May 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North was tasked with building a new website to explain a new value proposition and also market it via SEO and other marketing techniques.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 employees
 
Greater Chicago Area
Board Member, Venture Capital Advisory
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North provided a quality website on time and on budget. Straight North has a regimented process that could be made more personalized to each client but they are well organized.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a board and strategic advisor for private-equity-backed companies. I am a board director and partner of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We were looking to build a new website for strategic value proposition rebranding and digital marketing.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North took part in a full marketing and rebranding strategy process for our company. They also built our website and handled its SEO.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I went through a due diligence process based on the scope of service, their timelines, and pricing. We also looked at the account management team working on the provider's end.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The cost of Straight North's services for the first year will be around $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Straight North around May 2016. Our relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

The website won't be live until next week, so it's too early to provide any metrics for it.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Our project came in on budget and on time, which are 2 important statistics.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

Straight North has a very good process, but it is very regimented.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

Filling out forms in order to provide feedback takes out some of the human element needed for collaboration across functional teams. It would be a big help in the future to have more interaction between Straight North's team and the client.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

Clients have to have their marketing strategy, branding, and direction for the value proposition fully completed beforehand.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

SEO and Web Design for Cabinet Maker

"The informal feedback I've received for the site's aesthetics and design has been positive."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
May. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North built a new e-commerce website and marketed the website through Google to increase new buyers and provide a professional image.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 employees
 
Greater Chicago Area
Advisor, Cabinet Maker
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North delivered an attractive website that clients have rated highly. They are responsive and good problem solvers.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We manufacture custom cabinets. The business is entirely brick-and-mortar. I am providing help to the family business, on the website front.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We wanted to increase traffic to the website, thereby increasing our revenue.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North has provided web design and SEO [search engine optimization] services to our company. We're not running pay-per-click advertising.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I have a couple of contacts in Chicago from larger web design companies, whose opinions I value, and who referred me to Straight North.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The cost of Straight North's SEO services will be $24,000 for the first year. The web design had a cost of $5,000, plus miscellaneous photography costs.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started the process in May 2016, and worked through the summer designing and developing the website. There were a few delays from our side, but the site went live in August. Our SEO campaign with Straight North is currently underway.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

It's a little early to gauge the SEO campaign, but I've been very satisfied with Straight North's level of service, responsiveness, and with the quality of their team. Straight North has met and exceeded expectations in this regard.

The informal feedback I've received for the site's aesthetics and design has been positive. We've had a kick-off party in connection with the 50th anniversary of the business. Clients, as well as consultants, have all had good things to say about the site.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

I've appreciated Straight North's level of responsiveness. They created an action plan and executed on it.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

Straight North has a good level of industry expertise, as well as a quality team.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

Straight North's main expertise is in SEO. Because of the price point, there were some limitations in our web design. I'd like to see more ability to customize as necessary, although I don't necessarily see this as something negative.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

Clients should be as informative as possible in terms of goals and elements they want to be included in the websites. Straight North will likely have a plan for attacking and achieving those goals.

4.0
Overall Score Having the ability to make a few more customizations on the site, even with a slight increase in cost, would have been ideal. Overall, we've been very happy with Straight North's team's level of expertise with the finished product.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Straight North's project manager was outstanding, and she made sure to respond to phone calls and emails as soon as possible. She constantly let us know what was needed from us for the website and SEO campaign.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    There were no surprise costs or fees, and Straight North worked with us to ensure that we'd meet the expected costs for the design. SEO has a flat fee, which is fine as well.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I was very happy with the web design and Straight North's responsiveness and expertise. Our platform has some limitations, but this is understandable considering our price point.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

SEO and Web Design for Metal Coating Company

"Straight North has done a very good job, and the team has been responsive to any questions I had, usually answering within a couple of minutes."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Feb. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North was selected to build a new website and transform the client into a national player with greatly increased online sales.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 employees
 
Charleston, South Carolina Area
Marketing Manager, Metal Coating Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North has produced many new customers and received positive feedback for the modern website they created. They provide relevant marketing recommendations.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Our company offers powder and liquid coating for assemblies, including CARC military painting. I am the marketing and web manager. I am also in charge of internal company auditing.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

Our website was built 13 to 14 years ago, but we hadn't done anything significant with it. We were coming from having no online presence, and the goal was to increase sales, not only regionally, but nationally, and grow as a company.  

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North designed and developed our website. We're now in the middle of a pay-per-click campaign and are getting ready to start SEO [search engine optimization] work. Given that we didn't have a presence on the internet initially, we ran a pay-per-click campaign first to boost our presence. This has significantly increased traffic to our website, and it has been very productive.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I interviewed many different companies, obtained referrals, and found that everyone was happy about Straight North's services. We felt that their services encompassed everything we needed, and we really liked Straight North's team, especially our account manager.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The cost of Straight North's services has been around $40,000 for marketing, website design and pay-per-click advertising, for our first year.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started our project with Straight North in February 2016, and have been working together since.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We didn't have a presence on any pages, while our competition for powder and military coating was ranking high. We've come to have a position between the 1st and 5th pages for the keywords we're targeting. The website works fantastically. Customers are happy, and we've signed up many new ones. Because Straight North setup our site for SEO from the start, it still works in our favor, even though we're not running an SEO campaign, technically.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Straight North has done a very good job, and the team has been responsive to any questions I had, usually answering within a couple of minutes. Straight North's account manager kept in touch with me constantly when we were setting up the site's design.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

Straight North has comprehensively looked at our whole company and made relevant recommendations. Many of the other candidates simply gave us pricing lists and focused our conversations around this area. Straight North told me what they felt would work for our company.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

I would much rather have conference calls with Straight North's team, than simply receiving monthly reports. It would allow me to have a conversation, instead of simply reading data from a sheet.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with RNF Technologies?

I advise clients to trust Straight North. I feel that the company has our best interests at heart, and they haven't tried to sell us on services we didn't really need, just to boost their bottom line.

5.0
Overall Score I'm very happy with Straight North. The value of our product and their customer service have been fantastic. Everything, from design to our pay-per-click campaign, as well as answering day-to-day questions I had, were done in good time.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Straight North our account manager was always on time and accessible. She called me whenever there were any questions.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Straight North was on time and on budget. We've talked about different figures for our pay-per-click campaign, and always came up with solutions within our budget.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Our website is easy-to-use, allowing me to edit and update anything I want. Also, Straight North's willingness to work with me and do what I want was great.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely recommend Straight North to anyone looking for a web designer or a marketing firm.

Digital Marketing for Equipment Manufacturer

"It will take a while for the SEO to take effect, but Straight North's work during the last 2 years have essentially doubled our incoming web leads."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North developed a new website and marketed it online with the goal of lead generation and sales growth.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 employees
 
Greater Chicago Area
VP, Manufacturing Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North has provided a double in leads in the past 2 years of online marketing work. They have made some minor mistakes but generally produce positive results.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a manufacturer of high-shear fluid processors primarily used in the pharmaceutical industry. We work within a niche market, producing high-end equipment for a small number of customers that rely on our expertise. I am the vice president.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

The primary purpose of our website is an information tool for current customers, allowing them to use our tools more efficiently. Our old site was out of date, and we needed a version that would synchronize with our SEO [search engine optimization] efforts.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North designed and launched our website, also providing SEO work for it. We're not using pay-per-click advertising at the moment.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We received a few quotes and selected Straight North mainly because they'd been in charge of our SEO prior to developing our site as part of their work with our parent company. We were able to get a better deal in this way, and Straight North came highly recommended.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The development cost of our website was $30,000. We spend another $20,000 per year on SEO.

What is the status of this engagement?

We have been working with Straight North for 2 years [since 2014] and have an ongoing relationship.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

It's still a bit early to gauge the full impact of our website. It will take a while for the SEO to take effect, but Straight North's work during the last 2 years have essentially doubled our incoming web leads.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

We are currently looking at improving our own project management skills and plan to use Straight North's approach as a model for our own processes. This speaks highly of how they were able to guide us through the collaboration.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

The communication wasn't flawless. Many of Straight North's processes hinge on personal tasks, rather than the bigger scope. A few things were missed, but this didn't impact our deliverables or experience very much.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

Not particularly.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There was one scheduling mishap during which our expectations were not managed appropriately. It wasn't a big deal, but Straight North also wasn't perfect.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Straight North was much less expensive than some of the other quotes we received. The value we received was good.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The work was good, but it did take a few iterations to get right. Our site had a few issues both before and after the launch, which held us back a bit, but the work was good overall.
  • 4.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We did refer Straight North to another business unit. If I was to put my reputation on the line, I'd want my friend to make their own evaluation and look for competitive bids.